BMW: DTM has to adjust and attract new marques

Mercedes’ move from DTM to Formula E has shaken up the German category

BMW Motorsport boss Jens Marquardt says that DTM must make adjustments in order to attract replacements for Mercedes, possibly including a new push to harmonise regulations with Super GT.

Mercedes’ decision to quit DTM at the end of 2018 in deference to Formula E has jeopardised the future of the German championship, with only Audi and BMW committed from 2019.

DTM chairman Gerhard Berger has claimed that the championship can survive with two manufacturers, as it did from 2006 to 2011 with just Audi and Mercedes.

However, Audi boss Dieter Gass has described such a situation as “difficult to imagine” and stressed the importance of replacing Mercedes with another manufacturer, a sentiment shared by Marquardt.

“The target has to be with maximum force now, to really get potential (new manufacturers) attracted even more,” said Marquardt.

“There will have to be some incentives, we have to work on that.

“Already there are three manufacturers in Super GT that run pretty similar regulations that are pretty close to what we have.

“So getting those closer (is Plan A), and then see what can be a Plan B.”

Asked if Mercedes’ pull-out would lead to a renewed push to harmonise DTM regulations with those of Super GT, Marquardt added, “That’s what we have to figure out now in the discussions with everybody involved.

“We were included in the discussion from 2010 onwards, and we joined (DTM as a manufacturer) in 2012.

“We need reach out now to every potential (option) and see what would be attractive.

“In that respect, the DTM probably has to adjust.

“Now the situation has changed and we have to see what is needed; what the good things are in DTM to keep, and what maybe needs to be modified.

“We need to be open to anything. We need to widen the scope to see what can be discussed.

“The more manufacturers we have involved, the more stability you have.”

Marquardt believes that without the DTM taking action, there is no reason to assume new manufacturers will be forthcoming.

“If you are an outsider, the hurdle is very high,” he said.

“There need to be changes, otherwise I wouldn’t see how you attract somebody.

“You have to see overall the picture, maybe even allow other concepts (to race), and see how they can be matched together.

“The Japanese are running with the four-cylinder turbo (engine) already, we are running the eight-cylinder.

“But (it’s possible) to make an effort and to have those cars run together for a period of time, like in the past.

“We really owe it to the fans and the supporters of the series to make the best efforts, put our own brand egos a bit to the side and push towards (what is best for) the series’ future.”

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